Posted by: Youth Service Network & We Belong Project | March 14, 2012

Volunteer position – Organize a Workshop for a Youth Action Conference on Refugee Rights!!


By now you might have heard about the FIRST CCR Youth Action Gathering happening from August 31 to September 2 this summer, hosted by la Maison des jeunes de Côte-des-neiges in Montreal. The Gathering is being planned by youth leaders across Canada for youth participants; the only limit is our imagination and willingness to roll up our sleeves and get down to work. Grab a pencil, do some brainstorming, then hit the phones, internet, and reach out to people in your local community. We each have the opportunity to construct a piece of this awesome new event!

What you can do right now

Each of us has a particular skill or area of interest; we are looking for volunteers to join the planning committees for the 11 workshops that were decided upon at the CCR Fall Consultation and during our last conference call. We are trying to have 3 people per committee who will determine the objectives and format of the workshop, and approach potential facilitators, i.e. individuals who possess the knowledge and energy to stand before a group of youth and get them engaged in some really important issues!

If one of the workshops calls out to you, think about how you could contribute to it. Perhaps you know of a great format to make a workshop on a particular issue successful. Perhaps you know of a community organizer, teacher or young person who would be a passionate facilitator. You may be living far from Montreal, but that shouldn’t stop you from contributing your ideas, experience, skills and research in building these workshops.
Remember! These workshops will focus on the youth-specific issues of the broader themes outlined below and will be presented in a dynamic, creative and hands-on format. The more creative you can be with the delivery of these workshops, the better!

1) Leadership and Advocacy
-> Strategies in community outreach, approaching media outlets

2) Radio & Podcasting
-> How to make your voice heard via hosting a radio show or making a podcast

3) Videography + Photography
-> Techniques of digital storytelling to share refugee stories

4) Anti-oppression + Identity
-> Strategies for dealing with racism + homophobia in an anti-oppression framework

5) Criminalization
-> A critical discussion on deportation + racial profiling

6) Education
-> A critical discussion on the role of education in the lives of newcomer youth

7) Refugee + Immigration Systems 101
-> A broad examination of governmental systems that affect newcomers including topics such as
children + youth rights and transportation loans

8) Mental Health
-> A critical discussion about mental heath issues among newcomer youth

9) Services and Programming
-> An information exchange and brainstorming session on what services and programs we see for
newcomer youth in our communities and what we would like to see + best practice

10) Sexual Health
-> A critical discussion on how to support newcomer youth’s healthy sexual development while acknowledging cultural differences and views

11) Access to services for youth without status
-> Strategies for ensuring access to services for youth without status

Found yourself a workshop? Great. What next?

Tell us ( that you want to get on board and which workshop you’d like to help plan. We will put you in touch with the others on your committee and you will have the chance to communicate via conference call, Skype, our online discussion forum and email your ideas and expectations for the workshop. You will identify a team bottom-liner to make sure that all deadlines are met and then decide upon key issues, the ideal format, the desired outcomes and facilitators.

Hurry! Some of the committees have already started to work!

The final word

As youth, we become used to the power structures in schools and other environments that assume us to be the novices, not the experts, the students, not the teachers. The Youth Network exists as part of the Canadian Council of Refugees because, contrary to this assumption, we have a powerful set of skills and experiences at our disposal. The Youth Action Gathering allows us to come together in person and share those. Each one of us, despite being spread far and wide across Canada, is able to take the reins in this very cool project. Let’s do it!


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